Thursday, February 18, 2010

Same Ol' Same Ol'

I feel like most of my postings recently - and likely in the near future anyway - will be saying a lot of the same thing. "Things are pretty good. We're feeling pretty stable. Still a few issues to work through, but overall, we're OK. " So...there you have it. Nothing much new today as far as the AGP goes.

The dialogue in the comment sections of my last few postings has been wonderful. William is still trying to get through it all, but he can relate to quite a bit. It's generated a bit of discussion between us as to the many different ways that one can deal with AGP. It's a case of "to each his own" - we feel that each person's case of AGP is unique, so each person's "solution" will also be a bit different. Over Christmas, we talked about having him wear nighties a little more often, but after more discussion, William has decided that it is not something that he is really interested in doing. As all of his cross-dressing is sexually-based, he feels that wearing a nightie with no sex would more likely lead to frustration than satisfaction. And that could lead to more urges which he does NOT want to deal with. So...we've taken that off the table for now. And that's fine with me as so far, he's been able to manage his urges.

I didn't put a name on it until I saw this in one of Chris/Colin's dialogue comments, but I had an "ah-ha" moment when I read it. William is exploring his masculine side in the bedroom now. We haven't talked about it, but he's made a comment or two to that effect. And there is a difference in the way he touches me when he is "discovering" vs his "regular" touch. Not good or bad...just different. I like that he feels safe enough with me to try to push his comfort levels.

I debated about mentioning this, but I guess I will: it has been a stressful few weeks for me as I deal with the loss of my grandmother. We were very close and although I knew her time was coming, I'm still struggling with it. William has been beyond supportive through this. I've been distracted and off-kilter - and he's had my back the entire time. He's always been a good spouse, but this...this is what I always wanted. My dream come true. He's my "someone who watches over me." I can't tell you how much it has meant to me....and how glad I am that we have worked so hard to get through all of this. And I hope he knows that if/when our situations are reversed, I'll be his "someone who watches over him" also. For that's what true partners do, they love and support one another, especially through the tough times.


  1. Hi this is Colin. I finally told my girlfriend about my crossdressing. At first she had mentioned (while she was drunk), that when she was upset the other day, she had made a piece of art of a rabbit in drag, and I thought this was funny so I brought crossdressing up. I said , "you know, ever since I was little I've always liked to crossdress", and she sort of smiled and said "cool I like that". Then we ended up watching internet videos and fell asleep.

    The next day while lying on her bed , and she asked me what I was thinking... I was actually wondering whether she remembered what I said when she was drunk the night before, but I was reluctant to tell her. So finally I reminded her, and she said "oh I remember now! I think thats cute. You can borrow some of my clothes sometime and we can play dress-up" and she motioned to her closet.

    So then I told her "Well actually I have my own clothes I don't need to borrow yours!" and her eyes sort of lit up in surprise. She asked "at your house?" And I said yeah. She says, "like what? dresses and high heels?" I say "yeah", Then she asks , "did you ever stuff a bra?" and I laugh and said "sometimes I do,but usually I'm too lazy for that." She laughed and said "well I think that's cute, and I think boys should be able to wear whatever they want, gender is mostly a social construction anyway" and she started telling me about anthropology books she had read on gender. She smiled alot, and said she was glad I told her and thought it was sexy. To be honest she really didn't seem to think it was a big deal at all.

    Then she brought up some of her friends had sex changes, and her best friend ( a genetic lesbian female) only really dates M2F transsexuals for long-term relationships. I thought that was interesting. I explained to her, you know , yeah, I fantasize about being a girl, and Ive studied alot about gender, but since I'm at least 50% male in my gender identity, I think what makes most sense to me is to find an accepting girlfriend who'll be okay with me dressing up every now and again, like once a week or whatever. She thought that was cool and was really understanding.

    My girlfriend was actually surprised that girls wouldn't be okay with it, but I explained to her, yeah, some girls are totally not cool with it etc. She said I needed to date more social activist / anarchist types, since at least two of her ex-boyfriends crossdressed. I told her she was only the second person I'd ever told...

    She noticed I looked really nervous, so she started rubbing my back. I almost started crying because I was so overwhelmed.

    So on the whole it went over well, she said she's going to buy me a really frilly looking dress haha, so I suppose it could be worse. She also wants to borrow my corset (she likes corsets alot) so hopefully things will work out between us. I'll keep people updated, but thanks to everyone who gave me advice.

  2. Colin,

    You are so brave for telling your girlfriend, I know it was not an easy thing to do. But now you've laid the groundwork for honesty and open communication with her, which we know is the key =) It sounds like she was really receptive too!

    I said before that you two remind me a lot of me and wife at your age and I see even more parallels now. My wife and I met in graduate school while were pursuing our masters degrees in Sociology and I recall lots of conversations about the "social construction of gender".

    You are off to great start Colin and I look forward hearing how things turn out for you. Best of luck =)

    Your Friend


  3. Susanne,

    I'm so sorry to hear about your grandmother. You are so right; it is times like this that we need *someone to watch over us* more than ever. In going through it together, your bond is made stronger too. I'm so glad William is that person for you and it *is* the mark of a true partner.

    Very well put. Thank you for sharing this :)


  4. Susanne,

    I found this writeup today by "Valerie" on Yahoo Answers in response to the question "Why do I have the desire to cross-dress?"

    "Valerie" has this to say: "When you feminize yourself your brain releases neurotransmitters just as if you were making love to a woman..."

    There is lot more there and I am dying to know what you think of it.

    Here is the link to article:

    Quoting the full text below:


    Q: Why Do I Have The Desire To Crossdress?

    A: you were just born that way.

    About half of all males will never cross dress. They would rather die. The other half will cross dress at some time in their lives, just for laughs, to get attention, or as a dare. They don't get anything out of it themselves.

    However about 10% of normal healthy heterosexual males will enjoy it - very much. These men (like yourself) have a special little kink in their brains. When you feminize yourself your brain releases neurotransmitters just as if you were making love to a woman. These neurotransmitters are powerful chemicals. They produce sensations of well-being, pleasure, sexual gratification and self-identity. They affect the reward centers of your brain so it mimics the addiction response. You feel as if you NEED to cross-dress. You can't stop. You can't stop your brain from releasing neurotransmitters. You can't stop noticing pretty feminine things.

    Now the majority of men with this condition will consider it a problem. They want to be popular with women. They want to get married and have a happy family. Cross-dressing brings a sense of shame. So they place limits on their cross-dressing. This is okay. By placing limits on their cross-dressing they are taking control over their lives. Remember this mimics the addiction response, so you have to control it, or it will control you.

    Cross-dressers feel a pull to feminize themselves more and more in order to release more and more neurotransmitters. You don't want to go there. It will mean that cross-dressing will become the most important thing in your life. It can take over your life.

    Here is a little experiment you can do to prove that its just neurotransmitters and nothing more. Go ahead and feminize yourself. Give it your best shot... How do you feel? You feel excited, stimulated, great pleasure.. okay. Now masturbate... Yes, in your feminine clothes. After that, ask yourself the same questions. How do you feel? Not happy? Disgusted? You don't feel right in the feminine clothes? What has changed? When you masturbate you brain releases a sudden rush of neurotransmitters. In fact, you have a short (a few minutes) depletion of neurotransmitters. For a short time your brain is acting like a "normal" person.

    So what can you do to limit your cross-dressing? Just limit yourself to a couple articles of clothing, and don't wear them very often. See yourself as a man. Admit that you don't look good as a girl. Remind yourself of all the reasons why you are happy being a man. Understand that women have a need to be held, loved and protected by a man. Understand that you are that man.. you are a hero."

  5. First of all, congrats to Colin! Honestly, I can't say that I'm surprised that your girlfriend is okay with your cross-dressing. She sounds very open-minded. My hope for you is that her easy acceptance of you can help you accept yourself.

    Chris, I read Valerie's response and my first initial thought: it feels very right. It certainly fits William. It's interesting to consider that cross-dressing, AGP and sex addiction could stimulate the same areas of the brain. Another thought: I am thinking of your comment earlier about you and your wife looking for support on "wives of crossdressers" forums - and finding it very depressing. I, too, looked for support among spouses of cross-dressers, but found more similarities (and acceptance) between myself and spouses of sex addicts than spouses of cross-dressers. Believe it or not, there seems to be more "hope" in that world than in the world of cross-dressers. Did you post this on Jack's blog? I wonder what he thinks? And I wonder who Valerie is?...

  6. Susanne,

    Valerie's response felt very right to me as well. I can personally attest to feeling "sensations of well-being, pleasure, sexual gratification and self-identity" when I get dressed. I also have felt the need to continue pushing the envelope further and further. It never occurred to me until I read this that the origins of the feelings might have to do with my brain being "wired" in a certain way.

    I just posted this over at Jack's Blog as a comment to his latest post "Samantha Speaks". I am curious to see what he thinks as well.

    I'm not sure who "Valerie" is, but I did do a google search for "when you feminize" (exact match) and found "Valerie" has been all over the Yahoo Answer Boards espousing this theory. Whoever she/he is, they may well be the first cross-dresser in the history of the world to display some common sense about all this ;)

  7. I've actually run across this theory before, although perhaps not so succinctly put. Have you read any of Alice in Genderland?
    I have not read his book, but I've seen his work quoted several places online. Might be worth your time looking it over as he also discusses cross-dressing behaviors being similar to addictive behaviors. He also discusses dealing with it in the context of his marriage. He and his wife have agreed to allow more than what I personally would be comfortable with, I think, but here again...each person's solution will be different. It's whatever works for them as a couple, I guess...

  8. I have read the Alice in Genderland book, and it is a fascinating read, indeed.

    But you really do not want William to go there, Susanne!

    Alice has made an agreement with her wife where she spends a day or two a week, cruising bars as a woman and picking up male lovers. In one way she confirms the stereotype of the selfish AGP who clearly disregards the feeling of his wife, and who treats men as masturbatory props. But she is open about it, and has shown a lot of guts!

    It seems William now sees you for real, which is a great thing. I hope I am able to do the same for my girl friend.

    I have commented on Just Chris over at my blog.

    And, Susanne, I am sorry for your loss!

  9. By the way, Susanne. To make more people read the comments, add a comments widget that lists the latest widgets in the right hand column. There are several around and they are very easy to install.

    Here is the one I am using:

  10. from Colin

    @Just Chris

    I agree with the first part of what Valerie said (crossdressing can have addictive components , it releases pleasurable chemicals, etc). And if you're not careful it can develop into an addiction.

    But I disagree pretty strongly with the rest of Valerie's writing. First of all, not all crossdressers feel disgusted after orgasm. Usually I stay dressed even if I come. I think the clothes feel good and they reduce my anxiety. Yes , after I come the urge to cross-dress is reduced , but this doesn't really provoke instant disgust. I accept who I am, I can't change my wiring, I just need to learn to control it and channel it in healthy ways.

    Valerie suggests as what to do.. " Just limit yourself to a couple articles of clothing, and don't wear them very often.". Seriously? I can't believe this is supposed to be good advice ... maybe for someone who is in the closet from their partner or in denial from themselves... but certainly not for someone who is A) in a accepting relationship or B) on their own with self-acceptance.

    Personally, I really LOVE clothes and shoes, especially when I can get cute ones for cheap. Even when presenting day-to-day as a male, I like being fashionable. In terms of women's clothes,, I like all the different colors and combinations -- and how sometimes the new combinations of skirts, shoes , shirts, tights , and accessories surprise me! Now that I have a girlfriend, who is only a size or two smaller than me, we can share clothes! She has very similar fashion sense. I already gave her a dress that was too small for me , and she loved it! Why I would limit myself to one or two articles of clothing? That doesnt make sense to me. Besides, purging (throwing away your clothes) is an expensive and counterproductive habit.

    Valerie writes "See yourself as a man. Admit that you don't look good as a girl."

    What kind of advice is this? First of all, I see myself as a distinct human being, created in the image of God, not first as "man" or "woman" , but first I see myself as a reflection of God -- that is, whatever created us and this amazing universe. So this gender reification by "Valerie" is rather irritating. To me it sounds like Valerie is still doing some soul-searching. For myself, Yes my sex is biologically male. But my mind and imagination are probably as much as 30-50% female. And despite the various drawbacks and unusual sexual proclivities I have developed, I feel there are benefits to having a crosssexual mind.

  11. from Colin
    @Just Chris

    The author says " Admit that you don't look good as a girl."

    Why would someone want to do this? To lower their cross-gender self-esteem? To ruin their fantasy? Unless the crossdressing is disruptive or destructive, I don't see the problem. I DO look good as a girl. I honestly do. I am slender, fit, and thin. Girls always said I was pretty. There is nothing harmful in appreciating oneself for being attractive -- whether dressed as a girl or a guy. There's also nothing wrong with some fantasy and imagination. The important part is seeking and figuring out your identity first , through careful reflection and self-understanding, then refining and accepting whatever it is you find. I realized I was simply a lonely crossdresser who wanted a girlfriend.

    "Remind yourself of all the reasons why you are happy being a man."

    This advice from Valerie might be good if you know you are a confused CD and have no direction... but if you have come to self-understanding, why should this self-conditioning even be necessary?

    "Understand that women have a need to be held, loved and protected by a man."

    I believe this is true... but crossdressing does not preclude you from loving/protecting your girlfriend or wife as a man.

    "Understand that you are that man.. you are a hero."

    You are only a hero if you have the character...regardless... You can PRETEND to be a woman for a little while... for a few minutes, a few hours, a winter vacation, whatever... as long as you manage your life properly, and it doesn't destroy relationships, trust, money or other aspects, then what's the issue? There is none! It's perfectly fine to cross-dress and fantasize about being a woman, role-play with your girlfriend or wife and let her tease you, then later go back to a 'male' role and install new light switch , make dinner together, and tie down your wife a have your way with her, then cuddle each other as you fall asleep. Sorry but Valerie's view is too simplistic and too black and white...


  12. @Susanne

    Thanks so much for your kind words and support. I wish you the best during these difficult times in your family's life. I will send a prayer your way.

    I had already accepted myself in a certain sense... I knew crossdressing/AGP was something I was stuck with , and that it was not going away. And I also made peace with myself after my last purge that I was going to figure it out somehow , I had been alone for too long... years even. The problem I was having is finding a partner -- that is , someone who we mutually both found witty and attractive, yet she had to be into bondage games, as WELL as being okay with a crossdressing significant other. It took six months, but it was worth the trouble.

    My girlfriend and I appear to be on the same page in terms of exploring my crossdressing. She's actually more open than I am! She offered to take me out in crossdressed public, or that I could lounge around her house in front her roommates , etc. I politely declined that -- haha. She offerred to have sex with me cross-dressed as well. I said I'd only done that a handful of times, but it sounded fun. And now she's offerring to go shopping with me this weekend at her favourite stores... Good luck to all ... definitely my advice to cross-dressers / AGP is look for bisexual (or bi-curious) partners who well-organized and can manage their lives. Don't tell them immediately, but tell them early (within 8 weeks or so of dating). Also it might be best to search in a big city in the academic / university political activism / goth-industrial music scenes.


  13. Degrees is everything...Colin, you are right, there is absolutely nothing wrong with cross-dressing in an open and honest relationship - as long as BOTH partner's accept it and can handle it. But I'm assuming that Valerie's advice is coming from the perspective that whoever is cross-dressing is NOT happy about wanting to do it. And it seems like ,for most AGP's, "self-conditioning" is a major factor in their "expressions." It plays into their self-esteem and self-image as well as their behaviors. Many AGP's are out there looking for answers because they are NOT happy with who they are.

    Personally, I differentiate between AGP's and cross-dressing. To me - an AGP's dressing ALWAYS involves sex. But enjoying cross-dressing OUTSIDE of the bedroom, well, I believe that that transcends AGP and moves into...something else. Somewhere on that "spectrum" that we all keep talking about. It also makes sense to me that AGP stimulates the same areas of the brain that cross-dressing does. Which could be the same area satisfied by an addicts behaviors. It explains how AGP and cross-dressing can cross the line between "normal" sex exploration/pleasure and into addiction. In my opinion, many AGP's ARE addicted. It may not start there nor do I believe that it has to go there, but if an AGP is lying to his partner about his activities or if his activities are/would have a strong negative effect on his relationship, I don't care HOW the AGP justifies it, he has crossed the line into harmful behavior. And when one's sexual activities become harmful to a significant area of one's life (like one's relationship), it's either an addiction or a paraphilia. And one needs to treat it as such. I think Valerie's advice, rather than being taken literally ("be a man"), should be taken as more of a "caution" that one needs to keep EVERYTHING in that arena under control or it can quickly spiral out of control. And I agree with that.

    As an example, I had mentioned Alice in Genderland in my previous comment. If I remember right, his activities escalated during his marriage, they didn't start off that way. His wife didn't know when she married him that she would eventually agree to allow him to go out every Saturday night and "indulge himself." And she has made it known that she would really prefer that he NOT pick up other men, but she agreed to it in order to stay married. I understand on one level WHY she has agreed to do it, but consider this: if "Alice" were a straight, completely normal heterosexual male and wanted to go out every Saturday night and have sex with another woman, she would likely have not agreed to it. So does having AGP or being a CD/TV/TGTS justify behaviors that otherwise are generally considered relationship-ending? In my life, my answer is "no".

    Again, Colin, you are a loving, supportive, honest relationship, AGP or cross-dressing or whatever BOTH partners mutually agree to is absolutely fine. But make sure that BOTH of you are truly absolutely fine with it. If either of you feels forced to do anything (even out of love) or if what you agree to escalates to something more, eventually, resentment will set in and the relationship could suffer.

  14. @ Susanne

    Alice has made an agreement with her wife where she spends a day or two a week, cruising bars as a woman and picking up male lovers. In one way she confirms the stereotype of the selfish AGP who clearly disregards the feeling of his wife, and who treats men as masturbatory props. But she is open about it, and has shown a lot of guts!

    Some credit is due to Robert Novic for having the "balls" to write AIG, but I also find dark irony the claim he is expressing his "feminine side" while at the same time using his male privilege to strong-arm his wife into allowing him do whatever he wants in pursuit of that.

    It is problematic that these troublesome *Male traits* manifest in the pursuit of cross-dressing activities. It flies in the face of the idea that inner femininity is being expressed and seems to suggest there are other forces at work.

    Recalling the CDSO mailing list, there were all sorts of TRUE TALES about similar agreements struck between husbands and wives. The COST was rarely the marriage itself, but always the woman's well-being and happiness; traded off for security; financial and otherwise.

    Worse is that Richard Novic is held up as a "poster child" of cross-dressing. There a many who celebrate his behavior and regards his "agreement" with his wife as some sort of triumph. I see no triumph where one partner has to sacrifice themselves in lieu of their partners desires.

    I see nothing of the kind; I see instead a selfish person who is "on a path", feeding something he doesn't truly understand, and will likely be announcing his need to transition into a woman sometime in the near future.

  15. Hey All,

    SO, I started dressing again this week. We are taking things very slow, so right now I am just wearing the clothes with no makeup or wig. As I said earlier, I want to build a wardrobe of casual, androgynous clothes that I can wear around the house. In that vein, I ordered the following:

    Bella Women's Cotton/Spandex Yoga Pants (2)

    Bella Women's Long-Sleeve Crew Neck Jersey T-Shirt (2)

    Bella Women's Sophie Sheer Rib Long-Sleeve T-Shirt (1)

    Bella Women's 1x1 Baby Rib 3/4-Sleeve Contrast Raglan T-shirt (2)

    Bella Women's Heather Jersey Ringer T-Shirt (1)

    Bella Women's Meredith Sheer Rib Longer-Length Racerback Tank Top (2)

    I got all (10) items for less than $100 which is very reasonable compared to the money I used to spend on items. I have found it fulfilling to shop for *normal* colorful items after wearing nothing but black fetish outfits for 15 years.

    I got dressed on Friday morning early in a pair of yoga pants and a pink crew neck jersey. Even without makeup or a wig, it still *felt* like cross-dressing to me; I felt the *rush* in my brain. I also felt a *rush* downstairs too.

    My wife and I spent the morning together having coffee and talking. She is a bit tentative about everything, but she does like my new wardrobe and agrees *colorful casual* is a step in the right direction.

  16. Chris, I'm glad that you and your wife are moving forward together on this. You mentioned the "rush", I'm curious, were you able to keep the crossdressing separate from sex? or did the crossdressing generate urges that were in your mind all day?

  17. Susanne,

    I'm glad you asked. I hope I can articulate this in a way that makes sense.

    I tried very hard to pay attention to *how I felt* before, during, and after dressing to hopefully gain some insights.

    In the early morning, I awoke depressed and lamenting about feeling *short-changed* in life because of my personality type and sexuality issues. I feel these things have prevented me from becoming successful in life as a man. I've always felt like an *other* amongst men -- I don't like sports, I'm not particularly aggressive , I don't like to *take charge* and be a leader. In the world of business and enterprise, a person like me gets taken advantage or simply overlooked and ignored. I feel that if I was *more of a man* I would be more successful and have more to show for my life than I do at age 40.

    Anyway, thinking about all this upset me and I started to cry. That's when the urge to get dressed hit me. See, I felt bad about myself as a man and wanted in some way to become someone else for awhile.

    So I went in and put on my clothes. I did get an erection, mostly due to compression and material of the yoga pants. Tight things always do that to me. But the overwhelming feeling or *rush* was one of comfort not lust.

    I went and laid down on the living room couch for an hour in my clothes until my wife got up.
    Once we started *having our morning* with coffee and talking, I sort of forgot about the sensuality of the fabric and my erection went away. I did notice while we were talking that I started holding my body in closer and I crossed my legs, which I've not done in years. It all felt very natural though.

    Around noon, we went to the gym. So I got undressed and went back into man space. The gym has been kind of strange for me since all this got brought up again. I'm like most AGP's in that I do not look feminine as a man; I'm very strong and quite large (my wife refers to me as a "mini hulk") and none of the blokes at the gym would ever even suspect what I really am. But I know....

    After we got back, we did some house and lawn work. Then later in the evening I put my yoga pants and top back on while were watching TV. I laid on my wife's lap and we watched "Northern Exposure", but again no lusty feelings. Just feelings of closeness and intimacy.

    We went to bed after watching TV and didn't have sex. I didn't masturbate either. But I did feel a sense of fulfillment.

    Wow Susanne after writing this, I have to wonder -- am I AGP or *something else*?

  18. I've always felt like an *other* amongst men

    I also want to add that at parties and gatherings (family and otherwise) I end up hanging out with the ladies because I cannot identify with what the men are doing (usually watching sports).

  19. interesting, Chris...I also wonder about the "other"... Is it part of AGP or something more...or are they connected in sort of a "which comes first, the chicken or the egg" way. Maybe you're really AGP, but you can satisfy your urges by cross-dressing? Or maybe you're really an "other" and over time, you have channelled your feelings into AGP. Or maybe gender, sex and cross-dressing are all so inter-connected that's impossible to separate them - I'm sure many will disagree with that statement, but I wonder...

  20. Susanne,

    I tend to occasionally get caught up by the truth of an idea and lose grasp of the entire picture.

    At this point, I would venture to guess that everything is more complex that it might seem from one's vantage point. I tend to live in a world where most of the transgendered people I know are very different than me and it makes things difficult because we don't always relate. Part of the problem is that while I have gender issues, I don't really see myself as part of the AGP/crossdresser sort of spectrum. Honestly, the feeling can be mutual and some of those people don't understand my gender issues at all.

    The thing is that perhaps pictures are more complex than I often paint them. The brain is a complex thing and one does not have to be definitely male or female but can be a mixture of both. Many of the people I see crossdressing feel male to me but some feel kind of in between and perhaps some AGP just lie kind of in the grey zone.

    It is hard for me because part of my experiences of men includ experiencing a puberty where all the boys around me were starting to experience these desires and a sexuality that in many respects is totally alien to me. Growing up in that environment was scary, alienating and threatening. I grew up literally hating men for how they treated me and because I saw them as gross and had trouble understanding them.

    In many cases, it was a case of being to close to something. Eventually, when I allowed myself to be distanced from them and not pressured to try to be like them, I started to reach a point where I could appreciate them and love them. However, it has taken me years to get there and sometimes I still have problems. It is unfortunately very hard for me to love anyone unless I can first feel comfortable with them.

    Sometimes, with my issues, I wonder if it is more about wanting to be a woman or more about not being a male. On so many levels, I just don't get men. Time has only served to make me more aware of the differences. It is not like I want to be a normal male but sometimes being a freak is very lonely.

  21. To Amanda - it's very sad when people can't accept others for who they are...and it's even worse when we're the ones who have trouble accepting ourselves for who we are. I feel your pain in your comment - I wish you peace and serenity through your journey...